Posts Tagged ‘Flour’


Bread (Photo credit: CeresB)

BREAD, the staff of life, gimme the dough/money!  Bread has always played a major role in our lives and diet.  When I was growing up, we lived in area where the milkman delivered milk to your door and the bread man delivered bread.  They were both white;  by that I mean we were getting pasteurized white milk and ultrarefined industrial white bread, so prevalent in the 50’s.  My dad bought Wonder bread for us, my friend, Susan’s mom bought Sunbeam.  Once in a while my father would bake delicious Italian bread with tiny bits of pork rind in it.  Warm from the oven and slathered with butter…no wonder I take a statin every day now!  Then along came Dr. Atkins and bread became the enemy.  The war against carbs still rages on, however, real bread in its naturally leavened, long-fermented hearth-baked form has enjoyed a comeback, especially in New York City where there are several well-known and much-touted bread bakers.  We have Eli Zabar, Tom Cat’s Noel Labat-Comess, Bread Alone’s Dan Leader to name a few. Bakeries such as Amy’s Bread, Sullivan St. Bakery and Balthazar Bakery produce such delicious bread, you really can make a meal out of it! 

Here are New York’s top 5 new-wave breads:  Try not to drool on your keyboard.

1.Roberta’s – CITY WHITE LOAF – Why would Melissa Weller leave the kitchen Per Se to toil in a converted shipping container? Three words: Wood. Fired. Oven.  Her bread has a dark and crackling crust, with a moist crumb.  It’s beyond “Rustic” in looks, more like a throwback to some communal oven in 19th century Paris.  

2. Nordic Breads – FINNISH RUIS – If you’re a New Yorker, you know rye bread.  However, there is a Nordic newcomer among us and this bread is dark, dense, flat as a Frisbee and has a tang that intensifies as you chew.  High fiber content, organic and made with a sour-dough starter smuggled in from Finland. Produced by Nordic Breads.

3. Hot Bread Kitchen – M’SMEN – Their repertoire ranges from corn totillas to Sephardic challah.  Their mission is to train immigrant women to parlay their native expertise into management positions in the industry.  Headquartered in East Harlem, the most extotic and delicious of their offerings is m’s men, a rough-textured, butter-and-oil enriched North African flatbread that’s rolled, slicked, and folded into a delicious envelope of dough. Rich and flaky like a croissant with the tender-crisp chew of paratha, the m’s men is girdled golden-brown and traditionally eaten at breakfast in Marrackech.

4. Runner and Stone – BUCKWHEAT AND PEAR – Peter Endriss, formerly of Per Se and Bouchon Bakery is creating such wonders as a Cheddar-and-hard-cider loaf, a sourdough whole-wheat walnut with dried sausage and red wine and a pain au chocolate encasing port-infused figs. Local grains, natural leavening, and long fermentation all conspire to make his squarish buckwheat pear loaf a thing of crusty, nutty beauty, its speckled crumb a triple-grained canvas (rye and spelt too) for nuggets of sweet poached fruit.

5. Roman’s – SPROUTED SPELT – Baker Austin Hall appropriates a corner of Roman’s kitchen after hours to bake breads for service and for retail sale on weekends.  He makes a naturally-leavened sprouted spelt, a sturdy burnt-umber sourdough loaf with a crackly, darkly caramelized crust and crumb riddled with New York State spelt berries. It’ a health bread for hedonists.

I will continue this list with more mouth-watering breads next week.


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No, it’s  not what you think – not Italian white Alba Truffles that cost $188 for an 8 ounces!  It’s not Beluga Caviar which costs $200-$300 per ounce, no, it’s something you can’t buy, you can’t return and you can only have it ONCE.  

It’s your time!  When you make make something or bake something for a someone and give it as a gift, they are receiving TWO gifts.  You have made a soup, baked a cake or whipped up a souffle, surely something  you know your friend will appreciate and enjoy;  But you had also given a gift of your time, your life, an hour or hours you can never get back.  A real Foodie knows what goes into creating culinary masterpieces, knows that the shopping for ingredients, the prepping, and the making all take time!

Today I’m suggesting you bake some DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BREAD;  The recipe makes one loaf and takes about 1 1/2 hours.  

1½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

3 eggs

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dark-chocolate chips

Confectioners’ sugar, as garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla, then mix with a whisk until well combined.

3. Gently fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. It should fill the pan a little more than halfway.

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

6. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove it from the pan while it is still warm by inverting it onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving. If desired, finish the loaf with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

 Wrap in cellophane or Saran Wrap and tie a ribbon around it.  Or you can present it à la Martha Stewart and wrap it up in brown craft paper and tie with the classic red and white bakery twine.

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Who ever said dessert isn’t healthy?  “Eat your fruits and veggies” – how many times have you heard that?  Here’s a great winter dessert that tasty, low-fat, sweet and tart and easy to make.


1/3 cup sugar

2Tbs flour

1 tsp. lemon peel

3/4 tsp lemon juice

3 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced.

1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped


2/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup brown sugar packed

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tsp cinnamon

2 T trans-fat-free margarine, melted

To prepare filling, combine sugar, flour and lemon peel in a medium bowl; mix well.  Add lemon juice, apples and cranberries; stir to mix.  Spoon into a large baking dish.

To prepare topping, combine oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in small bowl.  Stir in the melted margarine.

Sprinkle topping over filling.  Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and top is brown.

Heart-healthy recipe from United Health Care

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Slow-Cooked Chicken Cacciatore a/k/a Chicken Hunter Style

Tomorrow morning I’m taking the crock pot and gonna cook up a storm.  I need to make a couple of meals and freeze some of them.  If I don’t, I find myself coming home late and too tired to cook and that leads to ordering in or eating junk.  Either way it’s no good, one costs too much money and the other ends up being empty calories.  So tomorrow morning I’ll make the Chicken Cacciatore and give my husband a real meal and freeze the rest.

3 lbs cut up chicken (split chicken breasts and thighs)

Flour for searing

2 TBS olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

8 oz of baby bella  mushrooms sliced

2 cups diced green peppers and onions

1 cup dry red wine

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 pkg (24 oz) of seasoned tomato sauce.

Salt and pepper to taste

Dust chicken with searing flour

Heat oil on MEDIUM in large braising pan; add chicken.  Brown lightly on all sides, 8-10 minutes.  Transfer chicken to slow cooker.  Discard all but 1 TBS oil.

Add garlic, mushrooms, peppers and onions to pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes, until vegetables soften slightly.  Add wine; cook 1-2 minutes.  Add Italian seasoning and tomato sauce; stir.  Bring to simmer and remove from heat.

Add sauce mixture carefully to slow cooker.  Cover;  cook 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-7 hours on LOW.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  I’m going to add some red pepper flakes too.  Serve over pasta or rice.

And omg, this house is going to smell DEE-LICIOUS tomorrow!

Recipe from Wegman’s Menu Magazine Fall 2009

Cooking Lab: Italian - Pollo alla Cacciatora (...

Chicken Hunter Style

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I wish I were a better cookie baker but I’m not!   Luckily I have two friends who are fantastic cookie makers/bakers!  My friend Susan in CT brought a large plate of assorted delicious cookies last week.   I had to finally put the last of them in the freezer because I was eating Ginger Snaps for breakfast, Christmas trees for lunch, Milk chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies and Pfferneuse for late night noshing! And my friend Dorothy brought me a plate of cookies ostensibly for Finley, however, I don’t think Finny even got one – they were yum yummy!

Christmas cookies, doves, holiday cookies

Sugar Cookie Doves

Makes 18 cookies| Hands-On Time: 25m | Total Time: 1hr 25m



  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff). Shape into a disk and (unless otherwise specified in an individual recipe) refrigerate, wrapped, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. 

Recipe from Real Simple

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eFinley, Papa Pete, Finny

Finny and Papa Pete

The old glasses in the eye trick sent Finley into spasms of giggles.   The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because her mother used to crack up every time Peter did this for her at the dinner table.  Generational fun.

Finley, making brownies with Gigi, licking the bowl

Scraping the bowl

One afternoon I had Finley over so we could make brownies together.  She really got into it;  she poured all of the dry ingredients, put the egg in and did some mixing too!

Finny, Finley Ray, licking the spoon, making brownies, Gigi

Licking the spoon

Looking at this photo brings back memories of my own childhood.  I remember getting to lick the spoon or beaters after my mother made cookies or a cake.  More generational fun!

Starbucks, blackberry, Finley Ray, Finny

"I have to take this call"

I took Finley to Starbucks and she took my blackberry.  We often go together to Starbucks where it’s chocolate milk for her and a grandé Americano for me.

Papa Pete,Finley ray, Finny, reading

Let's Pick Another One to Read

Finley loves her booksshe reads to herself, has her favorites and of course loves to be read to by Papa Pete.

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Today’s recipe is tomorrow night’s dinner.

2 TBS olive oil, divided

2 chicken breast halves, pounded very thin, and then cut in half so you have 4 thin cutlets

1 lg shallot, minced, about 2 TBS

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 TBS capers, drained

2-3 cups arugula, torn into bite size pieces

1/2 fennel bulb, shaved thin

16-24 paper thin shavings of Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat until almost smoking, about 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle salt over the pounded chicken breasts and sear them for 2-3 minutes per side in the hot pan, working in batches so that you do not crowd the pan.  Remove the chicken breasts and cover with foil to keep them warm.

Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.  Add the shallots and cook 1 minute, stirring often.  Do not let them burn, and if they begin to brown rapidly, turn the heat down.  Add the garlic and cook another 45 seconds to 1 minute, stirring often.

Add the white wine and scrape an browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Ad the capers and red pepper flakes and oil until the wine is almost gone, about 2-4 minutes.

To serve, mix the arugula and shaved fennel and put some on each plate . Arrange some shaved parmesan over them.  Lay a piece of chicken on each salad, then top with a little of the sauce. Serve hot.

Recipe from Simply Recipes courtesy of Gail

capers, chicken cutlets, Simply Recipes, Tasty Tidbits Tuesday

Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

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Photographer: Frank C. Müller

Image via Wikipedia

Tasty Tidbits Tuesday

This is a fairly quick and easy dessert and it is deliciously moist and tasty.  Fresh ginger root gives it an extra kick.

Nonstick cooking spray

1  1/2 all purpose flour plus more for pan

1 cup whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup of turbinado sugar or lite brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup light molasses

2 large eggs lightly beaten

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup buttermilk ( I use sour cream)

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup firmly packed minced fresh ginger

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the lower third of oven.  Spray a 9″ square pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper, then spray the paper.  Dust the entire pan with flour and shake out the excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together molasses, eggs, oil and buttermilk.

Dissolve baking soda in the cup of boiling water.  Fold the baking soda and molasses mixtures into dry ingredients until combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the minced ginger.

Scrape batter into prepared baking pan; bake until cake is set around edges and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes in pan and then invert onto a cooling rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living

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